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News » Panthers' GM hopes Peppers will return


Panthers' GM hopes Peppers will return


Panthers' GM hopes Peppers will return
CHARLOTTE - Marty Hurney, the general manager of the Carolina Panthers , said he remains confident that defensive end Julius Peppers will return to the team next season.


In a pre-draft interview with reporters yesterday, Hurney said there were no new developments in the stalemate with Peppers, a four-time Pro Bowl pick who has said he wants to play elsewhere. The Panthers put the franchise tag on Peppers, who hasn't signed the one-year tender for $16.7 million and has said he won't sign a long-term deal with Carolina.

If a trade isn't worked out, Hurney said he doesn't think Peppers would hold out of training camp.

"We've known Julius for seven years, and it has been a good seven years," Hurney said. "I think he knows how we feel, and we feel like he's been happy here. And again, nothing has changed. We franchised him, and when we did we knew there was a period for the process to take place. When that process goes through, then he's going to be back."

Under the non-exclusive franchise tag, another team could sign Peppers only by giving Carolina two first-round draft picks. The Panthers could trade him for less than that, but because he hasn't signed his tender, only agent Carl Carey can negotiate with other teams.

Carey didn't return a message seeking comment. Hurney said he hasn't been approached by Carey with a trade offer.

More Football

- John Madden, the former coach who became one of pro Football's most popular broadcast analysts, is calling it quits. He worked the past three seasons on NBC's Sunday Night Football, and his last telecast was the Super Bowl between Arizona and Pittsburgh. Cris Collinsworth will replace Madden, said Dick Ebersol of NBC Sports.

"It's time," Madden said. "I'm 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons, and their families and their five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I'm home and, more importantly, when I'm not."

Madden began his pro-Football career as a linebackers coach at Oakland in 1967 and was named head coach two years later, at 33. He led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory and retired in 1979, then joined CBS later that year. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

- Travis Henry, a former NFL running back, pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine yesterday in a federal drug case that could land him in prison for 10 years or more. He admitted to a single count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute in a court appearance in Billings, Mont.

He was arrested in Denver last October after authorities broke apart a drug ring that trafficked cocaine between Colorado and Montana.

- The Detroit Lions have signed free agents Ronald Curry and Terrelle Smith to one-year contracts.

Curry, a 6-2, 210-pound wide receiver and former quarterback at North Carolina, spent the last seven seasons in Oakland. He has 193 career receptions for 2,347 yards and 13 touchdowns. Smith, a 6-0, 246-pound fullback who spent the last two seasons with Arizona, has 58 career carries for 185 yards and 67 catches for 354 yards and three touchdowns.

- The Meineke Bowl, matching teams from the ACC and the Big East, will be played Dec. 26 at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, with kickoff at 4:30 p.m. and television coverage on ESPN.

Bowl officials said that the date and late-afternoon kickoff will help boost TV ratings and hope that the later start time, from 1 p.m. last year, will prevent a drop-off in attendance the day after Christmas. A capacity crowd of 73,712 watched West Virginia beat North Carolina 31-30 last Dec. 27.

Golf

- Alex Cejka shot his lowest score in nearly two years with a 7-under 64 to lead the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C., yesterday.

Cejka needed surgery in September to correct a pinched nerve he first felt at the British Open last summer. He didn't play for about three months.

But Cejka had his best performance since a 64 at the Canadian Open in 2007. He was a stroke in front of two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen and two ahead of last year's Masters champ, Trevor Immelman.

Cejka capped his round with a 47-foot putt for birdie on the tricky par-3 17th hole.

Boo Weekley, a two-time defending champion, opened with a 69 and was five shots off the lead.

Basketball

- General Manager Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics was hospitalized yesterday after suffering what the team described as a minor heart attack.

The team issued a brief statement saying that Ainge, 50, was taken to a Boston hospital but provided few other details.

Ainge was a member of two Celtics championship teams in the 1980s with the original Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.

- Jonny Flynn, a sophomore point guard at Syracuse, has signed with an agent, officially ending his college career. In a video interview posted yesterday on Syracuse.com, Flynn said that leaving school to enter the NBA Draft was the hardest decision of his life. He signed with Leon Rose's Creative Artists Agency Sports.

Also yesterday, juniors Luke Harangody of Notre Dame and Derrick Brown of Xavier said they would put their names in the NBA Draft but would not hire agents. They have until June 15 to withdraw their names and retain their eligibility.

Harangody averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds last season and has led the Big East in both categories the last two seasons. Brown led Xavier in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and was second in scoring (13.7 ppg).

- UCLA center J'mison Morgan has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery.

Morgan, a freshman, had the procedure yesterday at UCLA Medical Center to remove torn cartilage from his right knee. His recovery is expected to take six weeks.

Morgan played 21 of 35 games for the Bruins last season, averaging 2.3 points, one rebound and 5.4 minutes.

- Cameron Dollar, a Washington assistant and former UCLA guard, will become the men's coach at Seattle University as the school continues its move back to Division I. He replaces Joe Callero, who left to take over at Cal Poly. Seattle left Division I in 1980 but decided in recent years to return. The Redhawks were 21-8 last season against a mixed schedule, including 13-8 against Division I teams.

Dollar has been one of Lorenzo Romar's top assistants at Washington since 2002 and before that was on Romar's staff at St. Louis. Dollar spent the 1998-99 season as the head coach at Southern California College and at 22 was the youngest college coach in the nation.

Miscellaneous

- Wake Forest avenged a regular-season ending loss to Virginia Tech with a 4-1 win over the Hokies yesterday in the first round of the ACC Women's Tennis Tournament in Cary. The Deacons (13-11) will play top-seeded Miami in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. today.

Also, junior Sasha Kulikova of Wake Forest was named All-ACC for the second straight season.

- Lance Armstrong, currently training in Colorado, has told organizers that he will race in the Giro d'Italia, removing doubts that he might miss the race after having surgery on his broken right collarbone last month. It will be the first time he rides the Giro, considered cycling's second most important race after the Tour de France. The race will start May 9 and end May 31.

- Softball has taken its campaign for Olympics reinstatement to Africa, pledging $100,000 to help develop the sport among youth on the continent. Don Porter, the president of the International Softball Federation, announced the development fund yesterday at a softball forum in Banjul, Gambia.

Softball, which made its Olympics debut at the 1996 Atlanta Games, was voted off the program along with baseball for the 2012 London Olympics. Softball is competing with baseball, rugby, roller sports, squash, karate and golf for two openings on the 2016 Olympics program. A decision will be made in October.

- Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said that 3-year-old colt Mafaaz won't run in the Kentucky Derby despite clinching an automatic berth by winning a race in England. McLaughlin said that the horse's owner, Sheik Hamdan, had decided to keep Mafaaz at Shadwell Farm in Lexington for a week or two, then move him to New York.

- The California Senate has voted to make it illegal to hold events that require participants to speak English in a move prompted by the LPGA Tour's English-only proposal. The tour wanted to require its golfers to speak English so they could talk with each other and the media and give acceptance speeches in English.

The LPGA backed off the plan after Sen. Leland Yee and others criticized it as discriminatory. Yee says the proposal insulted women, minorities and immigrants, and might disqualify the best golfers.

Taylor Dewberry of Mount Tabor finished third in the 400-meter sprint, and the Mount Tabor girls finished third in the 4x400 relay at the Taco Bell Track and Field Classic in Columbia, S.C. last weekend.

Dewberry, a junior ran a time of 56.43-seconds to finish third in the 400, and the Mount Tabor 4x400 relay team finished third with a time of 3:55.41.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

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